Pocahontas Seed Swap Collection Happening Now

Nicolle Sawczyszyn and her husband own property in the Durbin area of Pocahontas County and have enjoyed visiting the county for many years.  She recently began taking a class in International Permiculture.

“Permiculture is an approach to land management that emphasizes the use of renewable natural resources.  It doesn’t matter if you have a garden or you have 10,000 acres, we’re focusing on enrichment of local ecosystems where we can mimic nature.”

“It has 12 principals that are foundational. One of those has to do with people care and earth care, and in this class, I got thinking about how I can impact my community here in Pocahontas County.”

Sawczyszyn reached out to her friend and fellow mushroom hunter Carla Beaudet and said she thought they should do a seed swap.  She said Carla wasn’t familiar with the idea, but she was all in to help organize it.  The next step was finding a place for the swap to happen.

“So we reached out to the local libraries and they’re totally on board.  In fact, they’ve been trying to get something up and running. Now, everything’s being run through the libraries and online.  So it’s totally free, you don’t even need to have a computer, a librarian can help you sign up.”

Traditionally a seed swap would be held in just about any large room and participants could simply walk around and trade seeds with other like-minded gardeners.  However, with COVID concerns in mind, this swap will be done a little differently.  Sawczyszyn says anyone wanting to participate in the swap will need to drop their labelled packets of seeds off at one of the participating libraries.

“For the next two weeks, we’re going to be doing our collection phase.   So anyone at the Durbin library, Hillsboro library, Marlinton library, Green Bank library or the Linwood library can participate and you don’t have to be from West Virginia, but these are the libraries that are participating.”

The seeds can be from your garden or even seeds you’ve purchased as long as they don’t have invasive species or genetically modified organisms or GMOs. Each library will have a designated box to collect the seeds.  It will include information on how to contact the seed swap point person for that library.

“If I’m a participant, I email the point person and let them know my name, what library I’m in, what seeds I’m donating, so we have their information.”

The collection phase of the swap goes on through Friday, February 18th.

“What we’ll do in two weeks on February 19th, we collectively take all the seeds from all the libraries, create a database of inventory, and that’s now our offering.”

Following the inventory process, they will let participants know what’s available and take orders for the seeds they’d like to have.  The seeds will be packaged for each participant and dropped off at their library in early March.  She is very grateful to Beaudet for her logistical expertise.

“I can’t even tell you how many hours she has put into this in terms of organizing and creating google docs and spreadsheets to make the flow of this realistic.”

This first seed swap will focus on vegetables, flowers and herbs.  Sawczyszyn emphasizes that this is for anyone with an interest in growing things.

“This is for friends, neighbors, residents of Pocahontas County who enjoy gardening or just want to get into it.  Maybe they’re experts already and just want to share their seed.  It’s for little kids, it’s for older people, anybody across the board can participate for free.”

Participating libraries are the McClintic library in Marlinton, Hillsboro, Green Bank, Durbin and Linwood. The deadline to drop off your seeds to any of the libraries is Friday, February 18th.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

Current Weather